Your answers to the Grand Inquisitor
In his wine-stained satin lace,
Are irrelevant as answers
Deduced from deepest space.
Your presence in his universe
Confirms him of your crime.
He seeks to seal all passage,
All escape from space and time.
Behind the science of his spectacles
Lives a mind reduced by power.
A gesture from his languid wrists —
All’s over in an hour.
“We seek to keep our faithful
Baptized, confirmed and saved
From those dark, unknown questions
That live beyond the grave.
“Hunched within my velvet throne,
My pen controls the Door
That opens to the vaults of night
Above the killing floor.”
On 3 December 1599, Fernando Niño de Guevara was appointed Grand Inquisitor of Spain. During his tenure as Grand Inquisitor, the Spanish Inquisition burned 240 heretics, plus 96 in effigy. 1,628 other individuals were found guilty and subjected to lesser penalties.